A check-up is an examination of your mouth carried out with the idea of intercepting problems before they reach the level where pain may result.
Tooth decay is reversible when caught early- our aim is to detect it before permanent damage is done.
We recommend check-ups every 6 months generally, although the interval between can be increased or reduced, depending on how prone to dental problems you are.
At a check-up visit you dentist will:
- Ask about your general health and any problems you have had with your mouth, teeth and gums since your last visit.
- Examine your teeth for signs of decay, cracks, fractures, erosion and wear. This is especially important where teeth already have fillings, crowns, etc.
- Assess how well you are cleaning your teeth, and give you appropriate advice regarding any problem areas where plaque and tartar are accumulating.
- Examine your gums for bleeding, inflammation and pocket formation, which are signs of gum disease.
- Examine the soft tissues of your mouth to screen for oral cancer and other diseases.
- Investigate the cause of any symptoms you report adjacent to the mouth- e.g sinusitis, jaw joint dysfunction, myalgia.
Procedures to assist diagnosis and treatment planning:
- X-rays are useful in dentistry as they allow us to see areas not visible clinically.
- Screening x-rays may be taken at your check-up. Again, the interval between screening x-rays being taken is dependent upon how likely you are to suffer problems. Other x-rays may be taken to investigate specific problems.
- Impression may be taken to allow analysis of your bite and or crowding/spacing of your teeth.
- In the case of significant gum problems, a full charting of the pocket depths between your teeth and gums may be taken.
- Vitality tests may be carried out where it is suspected that the pulp of a tooth has died.
- Colour intra-oral photographs or full-mouth photographs may be taken